Canelo’s trainer upset over him being ignored for 2018 Fighter of the Year
By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Eddy Reynoso feels that Saul Canelo Alvarez should have been considered by the Boxing Writers Association of American for the ‘Fighter of the Year’ award for 2018 for his wins over IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding.
Reynoso sees it as a lack of respect by the BWAA for not picking the 28-year-old Canelo (51-1-2, 35 KOs) as the Fighter of the Year for 2018.
The BWAA had the following fighters up for the 2018 Figher of the Year aware: Maurice Hooker, Mike Garcia, Vasly Lomachenko and Oleksander Usyk. With that kind of competition, it’s no wonder Canelo wasn’t in the running to win the award. Those guy’s credentials for 2018 were impecable. They didn’t win controversial decisions, and they didn’t pick out the weakest link among the champions in their weight class to go after an easy belt, something what Canelo is viewed as having done in going after Rocky Fielding to win the WBA secondary super middleweight title.
Canelo captured his third division world title in beating Fielding by a third round knockout on December 15 on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. Winning a third division world title was a nice accomplishment, but the fact that Canelo fought what a lot of people feel was the weakest of the champions at super middleweight might have hurt his chances of being considered for the BWAA Fighter of The Year award.
What Reynoso might not understand is that several things happened with Alvarez in 2018 that potentially hurt his chances of being named as the Fighter of the Year. Those things are as follows:
– Canelo’s win over Gennady Golovkin on September 15 was controversial. Many boxing fans saw Golovkin as the true winner of the rematch with Canelo, and they felt that it was another robbery in Las Vegas, similar to the first fight between the two fighters a year earlier in September 2017. That was scored as a 12 round draw in Las Vegas. The fans overwhelmingly saw Golovkin as the winner. Many of the fans chocked it up as Canelo being given a gift draw by the Nevada State Athletic Commission assigned judges.
– Canelo testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol last year in February during a VADA administered test. Canelo would ultimately receive a six month suspension for the positive test for clenbuterol, which he blamed on eating tainted beef. Many boxing fans called for Canelo receiving a year long suspension. Never the less, Canelo testing positive for a banned substance during the year was a bad look. Whether the BWAA weighed the results of the positive test in their voting for Fighter of the Year in 2018 is unknown. But obviously if a fighter wants to be given the Fighter of the Year award, it’s not a good thing that he tests positive for a banned substance during that year. It’s not only the positive test for clenbuterol that has boxing fans skeptical about Canelo’s excuse about having eaten tainted beef. It’s the way that his body appearance changed from the way it looked against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2017 to that of well defined body builder physique in his two fights against GGG and his match against Fielding. Canelo’s physique changed radically in just one training camp before his first fight with Golovkin. That change with Canelo’s body had a lot of boxing fans questioning what happened with him.
– Canelo fighting a Rocky Fielding for his WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight title instead of arguably better champions like Callum Smith, Jose Uzcategui or Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.”
“They did not put Saul on the short list of Fighter of the Year, and for me it is a lack of respect because we won to the fullest extent of the word in his respective field, we beat the best pound for pound fighter, that was Gennady Golovkin,” Reynoso said to metro.co.uk.
The problem that Canelo has is besides his positive test for clenbutero, which might have hurt his chances for being considered for the 2018 Fighter of the Year award, his win over Golovkin was viewed as a gift decision by boxing fans. While there were a lot of fans that felt that Canelo did enough to rate a close win over GGG, there were just as many that thought that he didn’t deserve the victory. The fact that Canelo was given a controversial win over Golovkin in the same year that he tested positive for clenbuterol and fought what many boxing fans felt was the weakest of the champions at super middleweight in 31-year-old Fielding, made it hard for him to be taken seriously as a fighter that deserved the award.
“We also beat a champion (Rocky Fielding), we are not fighting with just any ordinary fighter,” Reynoso said about Canelo’s win over Fielding. “We won two world titles, and to not take our boxer into account is a total lack of respect.”
If Canelo didn’t have such tough competition for the 2018 Fighter of the Year aware, he might have been considered. What Canelo did in beating GGG by a controversial decision, and then defeating a weak 168 pound champion in Rocky Fielding didn’t compare to what Oleksander Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) did in defeating Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev to win the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight title to unify the division. Additionally, Usyk also stopped WBC emeritus champion Tony Bellew by an eighth round knockout on November 10. There was nothing controversial about Usyk’s wins over Briedis, Gassiev and Bellew. Those were all conclusive victories for Usyk. The win for Usyk over Gassiev helped him unify the cruiserweight division entirely in winning all four belts.
Canelo’s back to back controversial decisions in his two fights with Golovkin in 2017 and in 2018 was problematic. Canelo got a 12 round draw against GGG in September 2017, and then a controversial 12 round majority decision over him in September 2018. Both fights took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. With both fights taking place at the same venue at the T-Mobile, and both of them having controversial outcomes, it led to a lot of boxing fans concluding that Canelo was only able to avoid losing due to him fighting at that spot. In hindsight, the promoters for Canelo, Golden Boy Promotions, should have taken the Canelo-GGG 2 rematch outside of Nevada rather than going straight back to the same spot as the fist fight. Putting it back at the T-Mobile Arena, where the first fight took place, gave the appearance to some like it was another robbery of GGG. This could have been avoided if Golden Boy had the foresight to see that Canelo wouldn’t be given credit for a decision win over GGG if it was a close fight, and it clearly was a close match.
If Canelo wants to be given the 2019 Fighter of the Year award, then he needs to look to beat GGG without controversy, and then defeat the likes of Demetrius Andrade, Daniel Jacobs or Callum Smith. In other words, Canelo can’t go back to fighting the Rocky Fielding’s of the world if he wants to be given credit for his wins, and he needs to be involve in some fights against good competition that don’t involve controversial decisions. During Canelo’s 14 year pro career, he’s had exactly five tough fights against the following fighters that have all been controversial to some extent:
– Floyd Mayweather Jr: One judge scored the fight a draw at 114-114 despite it being a one-sided affair in favor of Floyd
– Gennady Golovkin: Two controversial fights in which Canelo was given a 12 round majority decision win and a 12 round draw. You can argue that Canelo deserved two defeats from those fights
– Austin Trout: Canelo was given a 12 round unanimous decision win over over Trout on April 20, 2013. The fight appeared to have been won by Trout, as Canelo spent most of the fight against the ropes eating jabs. The scores were 115-112, 118-109 and 116-111. The 118-109 score by judge Stanley Christodoulou was heavily criticized by boxing fans as being out of touch with reality.
– Erislandy Lara: Canelo beat Lara by a controversial 12 round split decision on July 12, 2014. Lara shut Canelo down completely, just as Mayweather had in September 2013. Lara limited Canelo to just 31 head shots landed in the entire 12 round fight. The judges appeared to give Lara no credit for all the head-snapping jabs that he was landing throughout the fight. The judges scored it 115-113, 117-111 for Canelo, and 115-113 for Lara.
For Canelo to win the 2019 Fighter of the Year award, he might want to make sure that he’s tested for PEDs constantly, both in and out of competition, prove that he can beat GGG conclusively, preferably in a neutral venue outside of Nevada, and beat a good super middleweight like Callum Smith, to show fans that he’s capable of defeating a true quality fighter at 168 rather than a paper champion. Canelo would also do well to fight Demetrius Andrade, Daniel Jacobs and Jermall Charlo to show boxing fans that he’s not ducking those guys, and is capable of beating them in a neutral venue as well. It’s going to be tough for Canelo to prove to the fans that he doesn’t need Las Vegas for him to win, as his next fight on May 4 is already scheduled for the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. That’s the same venue that both of Canelo’s controversial fights with Golovkin took place. Canelo’s last fight was outside of Las Vegas at Madison Square Garden in New York, but that was against a weak champion in Rocky Fielding instead of a talented fighter like Charlo, Jacobs, Andrade or Callum Smith. It would be sad if the only reason Canelo is going back to the T-Mobile is because for fear that he might lose to someone outside of that place.